One of the best things about getting a .nz domain name is that you’re well protected.
That’s because one of the core principles of the .nz space is that registrations work on a first come, first served basis. So, if you register a .nz domain name for your business, hobby or interest - and you’re meeting policy obligations and responsibilities - you’re likely to be able to use it for as long as you want.
As an example, let’s say you’re the sole operator of a business called ‘John’s Plumbing.’ After doing a search, you find the domain name www.johnsplumbing.co.nz is available and so you choose a Registrar and register it.
Now let’s suppose five months later another plumber named John also wanted www.johnsplumbing.co.nz. To get it, this second John would either have to:
- Ask your permission to hand it over to him and for you to agree to do so; or
- Use the Domain Name Commission’s Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) to contest your rights to the name; or
- Obtain a court order directing the name to be transferred to him.
The DRS is a free-to-file service that was created to help solve disputes over who should have the rights to a .nz domain name. Essentially it states that anyone wanting a .nz domain name registered to another has to prove that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ they:
- Have the rights to a name which is identical or similar to the one you have; and
- That the current registration of it is unfair.
One good way to think about registering domain names is to think of it like renting real estate. You won’t ever own the .nz domain name you use, but you do have rights to use it. In fact, apart from doing something silly like not paying your fees or letting your registration lapse, the only likely ways you could have it taken away is if:
- You used it unlawfully and a court ordered the Domain Name Commission to take it down.
- A DRS ruled against your rights to it.
Top tips to keep your .nz domain name include:
- Keeping your domain name current (pay your fees on time).
- Making sure the Registrant name listed is correct.
- Keeping your contact information current.
- Complying with .nz policies and agreements you have with your Registrar.
- Not infringing on others’ intellectual property.